Holborow in America 4: O, Canada!

Yes, I’m stretching the definition of ‘America’ again to include continental North America and not simply the USA. There aren’t a lot of Holborows who ventured into the Great White North, although there is an intriguing William “Holbrough” enumerated in the 1870 US census living in Dakota Territory who alleges to have been born in Canada c. 1847. He was later coroner of Charles Mix County, as well as superintendent of schools and then the county collector before being “lynched” by some of his associates, and is buried beside Snake Creek, Charles Mix County, South Dakota. Or at least so his (unsourced) entry on Findagrave says … which is born out by a quick search of Newspapers.com:

He doesn’t appear in the 1860 census, and his wife isn’t enumerated in the 1870 or 1880 returns for South Dakota, nor have I found a likely birth for him in any Canadian records.

But onward to three sisters and their stories. They were all the children of Daniel Holborow and his wife, Ellen Sarah Lamb, who had married in St Mary’s church, Tetbury on 4 February 1869. Daniel was the brother of my 3 x great-grandfather, Henry Holborow, and one of the sons of Joseph Holborow and Maria Haynes, and one of the children who actually stayed in England! Louisa Jane Francome Holborow arrived in November the same year, Ellen Maria in 1871 and Amy Maud in 1875. Although Louisa was born in Tetbury, the family soon after moved to Bath where Daniel was a Chemist’s Porter. In fact, in 1881 they were living in Queen Square, a rather fashionable part of town. However, in 1891 Daniel is a Wine Merchant’s Porter, living in St Johns Buildings, Walcot. A much poorer part of town, other inhabitants of St Johns Buildings are a number of paupers, dressmakers, servants and labourers. Daniel is listed as married, but neither Ellen nor any of their children is living with him. Obviously Daniel had fallen on hard times as the older children are mostly servants living with their employers or, in the case of the younger few, have become inmates at the Bath Union District Workhouse. Ellen does not appear to be with her children, nor have I found her in 1891. However, she is recorded as a patient at the Somerset and Bath Lunatic Asylum in Wells in 1901 and 1911. She was buried in Bath in 1918. Daniel also made it to Bath Union Workhouse by 1901, where he died the same year.

All in all, not an auspicious start for the family, but one that would perhaps leave the children very open to options of emigration. It is not a surprise, then, to find Louisa recorded as one of the Home Children. This was a child migration scheme that operated from 1869 until the 1970s and resulted in over 100,000 children being removed to other countries within the Commonwealth, namely Canada, Australia and South Africa. What initially began as a matter of social reform and addressing labour shortages abroad later became embroiled in accusations of physical and sexual abuse of the young people.

As I say, it was as part of this scheme that I found Louisa. She left Liverpool aboard the steamship Samartian on 26 February 1886 and arrived in the Nova Scotian port of Halifax on 8 March.

The SS Samartian before 1890

Three years later, she has travelled over 1200km west to Montreal where she marries John Walsh on 18 October 1887. Interestingly, she is listed as “without residence” and also names her mother as Ellen Sarah O’Brian, deceased.

Marriage entry for Jane Holborow at St Ann, Montreal. Courtesy of the Drouin Collection via Ancestry

John died 9 April 1899 in Montreal. A few years later a Jane Mary Holborow, widow of John Walsh, marries John Campbell, a carpenter, at St Patricks, Montreal.

Marriage entry for Jane Mary Holborow at St Patricks, Montreal. Courtesy of the Drouin Collection via Ancestry

Despite the change in name, I believe this to be the same person given the information in the first marriage entry. John’s burial entry of 1899 records his wife as Jane Holborough:

At some point, the Campbells moved to Cordova Street in Vancouver. Louisa and John went on to have five children altogether, although one son, Ronald Francis Campbell, had a short life:

The death announcement of Ronald Francis Campbell, 1907

The loss of Ronald hit Louisa greatly. In 1911 and 1921 she is listed as an inmate of the psychiatric hospital in New Westminster, BC. A mixture of 4 young children, exhaustion, grief and poverty must have all taken their toll.

New Westminster Asylum, 1878

At some point she made it to an old-age facility in Vernon, and it was here that she died and was buried in Vernon in November 1959. John had predeceased her.

As I said, Louise wasn’t the only daughter to emigrate. on 13 October 1892, the SS Sardinian left Liverpool bound for Quebec. On board were 17 year old Amy Maud Holborow and her 21 year old sister Ellen Maria Holborow.

Sadly, on 18 December 1892 Amy Maud Holborow, aged 20 years and four months, was buried at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Her burial registration mentions her parents, Daniel and Ellen Sarah nee Lamb, and that she was a servant.

I don’t know how long Ellen stayed in Canada after Amy’s death, but she is back in Bath in time for the 1901 census to record her as “godchild” to the widowed Amelia Allen. Quite why Amelia chose to record Ellen as this when “niece” would’ve surely been sufficient and perhaps more relevant. Although maybe with sister-in-law in an asylum and her brother in the workhouse, Amelia had taken over parental duties. Ellen was the executor of Amelia’s will when she died later in 1901. By 1911, however, Ellen had joined her mother as an inmate at the Somerset and Bath Lunatic Asylum in Wells, where she died in 1937.

In total, Daniel and Ellen had 8 children: Louisa Jane, Ellen Maria, Sarah Harriet, Amy Maud, Joseph William, Mary Ann Frances, Charles Pride and Minnie. Sarah didn’t marry and died in St James Hospital, Devizes in 1956. In 1939 she is living with her widowed sister, Mary, in the village of Kingsdown, just outside Bath. Joseph died aged just one, and Charles also found his way out of the workhouse and across the ocean. Minnie did marry in 1907, to a Gloucester lad named Moses Johns. They had one son who died in his mid-20s.

Born in Bath on 17 September 1880 and baptised two years later back in Tetbury, Charles had escaped to London by 1901 where he was living in Fulham and employed as a hotel waiter. Interestingly, the head of the household here is James Schafer, born in Germany, who was a hotel porter. I wonder if they worked at the same hotel and James heard Charles needed a room so said “Hey, you can rent the spare room off me and my wife!”. However, London wasn’t to hold Charles for long. On 31 July 1909, the SS St Paul left Southampton for New York. Only launched in 1895, the ship had already seen military action in the Spanish-American war in 1898 and having been involved in a collision with another ship in April 1908 off the west coat of the Isle of Wight.

SS St. Paul photographed under steam in or near New York Harbour 1895

On board was one Charles Pride Holborow, a 28 year old waiter from London. Strangely, he gives his next of kin details as Sarah Holborow, with an address of Maida Vale, London. He arrived in New York on 8 August 1909 and by the time of the 1910 census, has found employment as a butler for an independent lady in Princeton, New Jersey named Katherine Euphemia Turnbull, the great-granddaughter of Governor William Paterson of New Jersey. He was also as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and one of the signatories of the United States Constitution. So absolutely no big deal that Charles managed to enter her household as a butler almost straight off the boat. Christmas Eve 1911 saw him marry fellow Brit abroad, Annie Flaherty in Manhattan. January 1912 he purports to be living at 807 9th Avenue, New York as this is when he is naturalised. (Currently, according to Google Maps, this is a restaurant called Westville). The pair disappear from view for a short time, but reappear in time for the 1925 New York Census where they are living on West 54th Street in New York, which stretches from 12th Avenue east to 5th Avenue (and possibly just around the corner from his address in 1912).

Annie and Charles both disappear again, with Charles reappearing in 1947 when he dies on 23 August. The certificate gives his address as 560 West 54th Street (now underneath Mercedes House close to DeWitt Clinton Park at the western end of West 54th Street), and his parents as Daniel Holborow and Helen Bell (strangely there are a number of Holborows in New York connected to a Bell family, but none of them born near 1880 or with a father called Daniel!).

Whilst a number of these Holborows are incomplete in that I don’t have them in every record possible, I am certain that Daniel’s line only continues via Louisa’s children with Mr Campbell which makes this post a bit difficult to wrap up Normally I’m quite keen to stress that so-and-so line continues to this day, or stayed in X location. Daniel ended his life in the workhouse, and I’m fairly sure his wife did too. One daughter died in the same asylum his wife was in for some years and 3 others died far from home. I’m not sure its right or fair to feel sorry for or pity past family members as we are doing so now from a place far removed from such lifestyles as they lived – and operate with a vastly different set of options nowadays. But saying that, it isn’t a hugely happy story. And it disappoints me to have to leave them on such a note.

O, Canada, we stand on guard for thee


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